Summertime day trips around the Bay Area are plentiful, but the quintessential one is Point Reyes. The drive up alone can be a nature adventure in itself (Ever seen deer swimming through a lagoon? You might on your way past Bolinas,) but the real fun starts once you park the car and hit the trails. Drive up to Point Reyes Station for breakfast at the Pine Cone Diner and to pick up – picnic provisions at Tomales Bay Foods think cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, artisanal crackers, and handmade jams. Then hit the visitors’ center near the Bear Valley picnic area for some info on hikes. There are three beautiful one-mile loop hikes from the visitor’s center, but for those looking to spend the whole day on the trails, the Bear Valley trail is an easy hike (doable with a jogging/off-road stroller, too), nearly nine miles roundtrip. Divide Meadow, about 2 miles in, makes a great place to take a break, especially if there are fallow deer (including the plentiful albino deer) hanging out. You can turn around here, but if little legs hold up, the trail continues to Arch Rock, a dramatic spot to take in the ocean views, seals, pelicans, and other birds‹but keep those little ones away from the edge! Then trace your steps back, and enjoy a car ride home with the tuckered out wee ones.
Bonus: Celebrate the summer solstice this weekend at the NowHhere Faire, a carnival and live music event featuring tons of diversions for kids and adults alike (nowherefaire.com/nowhere). Also, next weekend the Point Reyes Farmer’s Market kicks off its season so you can pick up all manner of farm-fresh produce for your picnic.
More to Explore (with kiddies in tow):